The Summer Nail Color Trend That’s Like a Party On Your Fingertips

Kaitlyn Yarborough
·3 min read
pastel mix-and-match nails
pastel mix-and-match nails

@jackiemonttnails

There's just something so invigorating about the changing of seasons, even if you aren't necessarily going to experience any big shifts. The littlest things are worth getting excited about, from fresh peaches at the farmers' market to afternoons spent on the porch. And yes, a fresh manicure is another of those tiny, special things that get us excited to sashay into a new season, especially a fun one like summer.

While all sorts of colorful, not-your-basic manicures have been taking over 2021—can you tell we've all been cooped up?—there's one that has been drumming up major popularity during the spring that deserves to be celebrated well into the warmer months: pastel mix-and-match nails. This vibrant nail color trend is the opposite of drab and doesn't want to make you choose between all of those pretty new nail colors lining the salon wall. Instead, more is more—and your fingertips look like they've been dipped in confetti.

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It's about using an array of like-minded pastel nail colors and highlighting them all on each hand in a way that makes a lot of sense without being so matchy-matchy. Basic baby colors like pale pink, mint green, dusty blue, soft lavender, and muted yellow make cute and creamy counterparts that go together in an unexpected way.

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You can even employ the color scheme in other trendy ways by using clear negative space and asking for abstract nail designs.

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Or reinvent a classic by turning your French tips into a dreamy rainbow.

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Regardless of how you make the pastel mix-and-match nail color trend your own, this summer is the time to step outside your signature mani. Shop a few of our current favorite pastel nail colors to build your look.

OPI 'Hollywood & Vibe'

This slightly more whimsical take on classic baby pink is from OPI's spring 2021 collection, and it's ready to be the cute anchor to your entire spread.

Shop It: $10.50; amazon.com

Easter Nail Colors
Easter Nail Colors

Essie 'Can Dew Attitude'

This mint green is vibrant enough to stand out on just one finger. Tip: Choose a different finger on each hand to highlight every color to be even less matchy-matchy.

Shop It: $7; amazon.com

Essie Nail Polish in Can Dew Attitude on hands
Essie Nail Polish in Can Dew Attitude on hands

OPI 'Mexico City Move-mint'

This OPI nail color has been a salon favorite since its launch in 2020, and the baby blue doesn't dare pretend to be white. It's creamy, icy, and tempting enough to want on every single digit alone.

Shop It: $10.50; amazon.com

OPI Nail Lacquer in Mexico City Move-mint
OPI Nail Lacquer in Mexico City Move-mint

Essie Expressie 'All Things Ooo'

It wouldn't be summer in the South without bringing the peaches into the conversation, right? Essie's Expressie collection always has us appreciating the quick-dry formula.

Shop It: $8.99; target.com

Essie Peach
Essie Peach

Essie 'Lilacism'

Pretty in pink? Pale lavender is really where it's at for summertime. This opaque formula is perfect for pairing with other pastels.

Shop It: $7.43; amazon.com

Essie Lilacism
Essie Lilacism

OPI 'Bee-hind the Scenes'

Sunshine and daffodils are the color companions of this happy OPI spring 2021 nail color that makes a really standout statement nail on your pinky or thumb.

Shop It: $10.50; ulta.com

Easter Nail Colors
Easter Nail Colors

Olive & June 'SE'

Pastel pink does make a summer glow pop, no? We love it so much that we had to include it twice, and this bubblegum shade by Olive & June would even work when building a pink-centric ombré nail scheme.

Shop It: $8; oliveandjune.com

Olive and June SE
Olive and June SE